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I truly don't get it. My body won't hold up for it...living alone. When H lived at home, it wasn't super and he wasn't around too terribly much but at least he was there sometimes of the day. Now that he's moved out, I'm alone 24/7 at home. The only time I'm around people is at work. But it's not that really... It's how do you just move around inside your home/apartment all by yourself? How do you exist "alone"?....

 

I'm not being philosophical, I'm being literal...I simply can't do this. I can't be on my own. My body has gone haywire so even an incorrectly timed cookie can send me into a night of being sick..not to mention that I'm not even remotely emotionally stable. I've considered going back to IP but what is the hospital going to do? Keep me locked up for another couple weeks, feed me, and give me a safe place to relax...basically a spa with thorazine. But when I get out, I'm still in the same boat...Navigating my house or a new place, all on my own and feeling horrible.

 

I try not to think about it and keep busy but there are times I'm tired, so very tired, I just want to rest--a real rest where I stay in bed all day. But I'm terrified of being there alone so I get up get dressed and go anywhere just to get out--and I'm totally exhausted. Trying to get people to come over isn't entirely viable... My friends work/have kids/have lives...they can't just pop in to hug me when I'm feeling blue. And I don't just need a hug, it's more like I need a purpose--a purpose to live and exist all on my own...and I just can't find it....

 

Anybody relate or have any advice? I've beaten this topic to death in counseling and the whole 'having a support system' thing is tiresome...Its more like, how do I *not* feel like this inside? How do I develop a desire to *exist* all on my own--not as a wife, a mother, or a 'something' 'belonging' to someone else...How do I live a life just for the sake of "me"?....

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I cant live alone either. I live with my mom and dad. When I lived alone for a year I fell apart. I didn't shower for a month, I didn't clean at all. It was awful. I never changed clothes. When I was put IP my mom came to my apartment and cleaned the whole place up for me. From top to bottom. We all realized this wasn't working out. So I have been at home for over a year. I do miss being independent sometimes and eventually, will have to be. I am scared for this but the time will come soon enough. I don't have any advice because I haven't tried living on my own with my "best" cocktail of meds...but good luck to you.

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Are you living in a place with a lot of memories attached to it? If so, it might be better to find another place so that you can start anew and make new memories. I, personally, would rather live alone than in some of the situations I've lived in.

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I just have gotten use to it. Recently it has been getting to me, though, I have accpted being alone as a reality of my life that may or may not change. I too have trouble finding a purpose to live just for me. I do not find myself that important, that my existence actually matters.

 

Try to create a goal for yourself, be your own self conquerer, driver, and motivator.

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Anybody relate or have any advice? I've beaten this topic to death in counseling and the whole 'having a support system' thing is tiresome...Its more like, how do I *not* feel like this inside? How do I develop a desire to *exist* all on my own--not as a wife, a mother, or a 'something' 'belonging' to someone else...How do I live a life just for the sake of "me"?....

 

I do not live alone, and went from living with my parents to my H. But I am wondering if I could suggest something still, if I may?

 

I agree maybe having a support system isn't the issue, but more so finding your own identity as a person.

 

Try figuring out what YOU like to do, separate from your H and kids. What are things YOU enjoy? What are YOUR hobbies? Do YOU want to work? Where do YOU want to work? Are YOU a night person or morning person?

 

This is a time to focus on YOU - and your needs. And try not to focus on the big picture of existing in this world, but rather trying to figure out what YOU want to do today. Because "today" is about YOU. And when you figure out what you like to do, and find your identity separate from your H and kids, you'll be able to exist by yourself wherever you are - because you will know who you are.

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I live alone too. It isn't always easy, but it can be manageable and sometimes nice.

 

I have to force myself to create a schedule and actually follow it. Just simple things like sweep the floor or go grocery shopping. Also fun things that get you out of the apartment like taking a walk, hanging out at a cafe, or whatever is pleasant and easy to do for you. Having some structure makes me feel more accountable, and if you have something scheduled that you're looking forward to, it makes you feel better and makes it easier to get out of bed.

 

I also try to do little things to spruce up my place and make it a more pleasant place to be. When I first moved in alone, I felt like it was my own personal prison. Now, after a little work, I take pride in my apartment and having it decorated makes it more homey, nice to look at.

 

To keep myself from getting anxiety from being alone, I always have background noise on. Music or tv. For me at least, silence is unbearable.

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I cant live alone either. I live with my mom and dad. When I lived alone for a year I fell apart. I didn't shower for a month, I didn't clean at all. It was awful. I never changed clothes. When I was put IP my mom came to my apartment and cleaned the whole place up for me. From top to bottom. We all realized this wasn't working out. So I have been at home for over a year. I do miss being independent sometimes and eventually, will have to be. I am scared for this but the time will come soon enough. I don't have any advice because I haven't tried living on my own with my "best" cocktail of meds...but good luck to you.

no your advice is good :)... just sharing your story helps. my sister was like that and when she'd go IP, my mom would clean and take care of stuff...and then her H did the same after they got married. Your post actually helped me make the connection that maybe this whole issue for me has a genetic component--if my sister had it and I do, who knows? ....

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You guys are really good and helpful! I totally need structure! I'm fairly ok during the week because I *have* to work, but on weekends when that structure is gone, I'm scared and nuttier than usual.

JT is right too, there's alot of neg baggage attached to this house...I find going to my mom's helps me get away from all the crap that seems to be looming over this place (foreclosure, bankruptcy, bad times, etc). But I do get kinda torn because my bed is my "safe place" and I sometimes wig out if I'm tooo far away from it....Like I've driven 2 hours to my mom's--visited for a while--and driven back home dead tired just because I *needed* to be in my bed where I felt safe.

Sloane, you really gave me alot to think about too...I don't know the answers to those questions...I don't know what I like to do. Somewhere, I lost *me*....between half my family dying and my going crazy and working so hard, and divorce, bankruptcy--I just lost *me* in all that. I'm like this little worker bee that all I do--all I'm capable of doing is work. Anything else overloads my senses and I freak out and need to go to bed to recover. It's alot of food for thought though, what you said. I used to be fearless and traveled and did alot of stuff all on my own, but I guess going crazy, I lost all that or buried it under piles of crap.

 

GoingOutside, that's exactly my deal too...I 'exist' here and at times am ok about being alone and kinda like it at times, but overall I feel the same--like my existence really doesn't matter.

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I don't know how helpful my perspective will be, as I'm naturally an intense introvert. Not living alone makes me crazy. But here goes. 

 

I can relate to the crisis of... purpose that you describe. For a long time, all my emotions and energy and faculties were focused only on trying to escape the dangerous situations I was in and/or dealing with my MI and trying to get better. And then, when I really did start to get better and get my life together, I was left with a huge sense of "...now what?" During the years that a lot of people figure out who they are and what they want from life, I was focused on surviving. Without knowing anything about your background, I wonder if perhaps you've experienced something similar?

 

I think Sloane gave very good advice up there, about working on finding out what YOU want, need, and value. If all your MI and all the obstacles in your way disappeared tomorrow, what would you do? I think answering that question is a good place to start.

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I'm the opposite. I have to live alone to be less stressed out.  I need my privacy and don't want someone around bothering me in any way, whether directly or indirectly.  I like it quiet.  I wouldn't want their friends to come over ... I wouldn't know them, I'd worry about my meds being stolen, etc.  And I wouldn't like people Idk well in here.  I'd worry about things stolen by my roommate/s.  I would probably be extremely paranoid.  I need my own sleep schedule.

 

So being able to live alone is a blessing to me.  A lot less worries to deal with, and I can be myself without explaining to others why I'm depressed/hypo/manic/anxious/etc.  Because then probably they'd be like "why?" and I just wouldn't want to explain how I feel to someone who will just say 'cheer up' or something not useful that would piss me off even more.

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jt had a good point about living in a place with lots of memories.  I lived in the home I'd shared with my ex husband for 3 years during and after the separation and divorce, and it was really hard.  The place was littered with memories - in some places, literally, because I kept coming across notes he'd written me, stuff he'd left behind, and in one case, a suicide note he'd written for me to find one morning after he'd OD'd while I was asleep.  Good times, not.  I deteriorated pretty badly in terms of taking care of the place - not cleaning, dishes piled up in the sink, and so on - I think on some level I knew I no longer belonged there, but I was trapped in a shitty financial situation and had to try to get that sorted out first.

 

I'm now in my second home since that time, and each of the two moves I made helped enormously in sorting that out.   Cleaning and throwing stuff out and preparing to move was stressful on the one hand because moving always is, but overall enormously cathartic.  I now live alone extremely happily and on the offchance that I were to meet someone new, can't ever see myself wanting to actually live with them.  Routines and structure are extremely important to me, and I never thought I'd say this, but I actually prefer to have a clean kitchen and bathroom and tidy house, even down to making my bed every morning (a huge deal for me).  Also, I am massively overstimulated at work with people contact, and my home is my sanctuary away from all of that.  By the end of a day I'm craving being in my own space again, and I hate having people invading that.

Edited by MiaB
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I hate living alone. Sometimes I don't know how I do it quite honestly. A lot of times the dishes will get stacked up so bad that it smells like there might be a cure for cancer in there (I for some reason think positive about that one). But eventually I do the dishes.

 

My apt is tiny tiny. Although if you were to walk in right at this second you would shake your head at me. The main table in the living room is a disaster with financial paperwork, mail, junk, and probably other important things. But my kid's desk and my desk are clean. The bathroom is clean. The kitchen is a mess only because late this evening I tried out my new Nutribullet and I didn't clean up after myself. Who cares? No one is going to see it tomorrow......

 

Sometimes like this week I ended up being in my apt alone doing nothing for 5 days. That's not good. I didn't really have any purpose. I talked to my tdoc today about this issue.

 

I hate it. I absolutely hate it. And while my beliefs in god/the universe are a little different compared to others (not really religious - I don't claim one religion) Im begging god to send me a husband. When i had a husband before in my life things were much different and much easier. For example - I cleaned for him. Don't tell me I deserve to clean for myself. That trick doesn't work.

 

And Im getting close to the big 40 and thinking no one will marry me after that....so now Im trying to re-focus my mind. But its hard when I've spent the last 10 years asking for a new partner. And no, I do not do well in a roommate situation that is not romantic, btdt, tried, and failed too many times. I'd rather live alone than have a roommate.

 

You got me in my sore spot. Im sorry.

db

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I truly don't get it. My body won't hold up for it...living alone.

 

I'm terrified of being there alone so I get up get dressed and go anywhere just to get out--and I'm totally exhausted. Trying to get people to come over isn't entirely viable...

 

"How do you live alone?"

I almost always have, though I have known people who couldn't.

 

I used to work with someone who couldn't even spend an evening home alone.

I got the occasional invite to share a pizza and watch a film... 

.. and that's when I knew she was scraping the barrel!  

 

Me, I find living with others something I can never get comfortable with: it turns into walking on eggshells on high alert because I don/t know where the rules are, the edges of other people's comfort zones, preferences and tolerances.

 

Living alone?  For one thing it's freedom:  the bathroom is mine, arranged as I want it.

"... She squeezes toothpaste FROM THE MIDDLE OF THE TUBE.  Her hairs in the sink have driven me to drink..." 

(from Tom Lehrer's "She's my girl")

 

Past times I could read or do DIY as I chose, leave a mess or clear it up.

(No choice about whose turn it was, but no worries about that, either!)

 

Can you pin down what is terrifying?

Home is "home base" for me.  

Many of the board games and even playground games as a child involved "getting home": that was "safe", and it didn't imply "with others" particularly.

 

".How do I live a life just for the sake of "me"?....

Is this a case of an underdeveloped "me"?   (that is something of a guess)

 

You're not a big reader?  (another guess: with the time I could lose myself in the company of a book for a half day or a whole day, easily)

I have a treasured mug which  says "A book is a friend".

Nice, reliable friends, too.

 

I'm wondering: some sort of craft or hobby where you do meet with people on a regular schedule, but you also need time to develop your own work on your own? Art class, sewing circle, book club, chain-saw sculpture, circus skills group?  

(I went at this the other round: A hobby I did alone, but then showed and exhibited.)

 

Thoughts from the other end of the spectrum.

Chris.

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jt had a good point about living in a place with lots of memories.  I lived in the home I'd shared with my ex husband for 3 years during and after the separation and divorce, and it was really hard.  The place was littered with memories - in some places, literally, because I kept coming across notes he'd written me, stuff he'd left behind, and in one case, a suicide note he'd written for me to find one morning after he'd OD'd while I was asleep.  Good times, not.  I deteriorated pretty badly in terms of taking care of the place - not cleaning, dishes piled up in the sink, and so on - I think on some level I knew I no longer belonged there, but I was trapped in a shitty financial situation and had to try to get that sorted out first.

 

I'm now in my second home since that time, and each of the two moves I made helped enormously in sorting that out.   Cleaning and throwing stuff out and preparing to move was stressful on the one hand because moving always is, but overall enormously cathartic.  I now live alone extremely happily and on the offchance that I were to meet someone new, can't ever see myself wanting to actually live with them.  Routines and structure are extremely important to me, and I never thought I'd say this, but I actually prefer to have a clean kitchen and bathroom and tidy house, even down to making my bed every morning (a huge deal for me).  Also, I am massively overstimulated at work with people contact, and my home is my sanctuary away from all of that.  By the end of a day I'm craving being in my own space again, and I hate having people invading that.

Totally my deal. I'm living alone in our marital home(he had previously owned it with his first exW). He moved out in June just randomly--so I'm left in our crumbling marital home all alone with most of the furnishings gone. I started packing myself when he left so most of my stuff has been in boxes for months. And with the house in foreclosure(or something close to it) I just can't unpack and say this is home... I have to move, but the months of living here alone has taken a toll on me. Plus the years before he left weren't that great and I don't have alot of great memories of this place. It was like, every day I'd come home from work with a knot in my stomach just driving down our street wondering what hellish surprise awaited me--was his exW around causing trouble, was she in my house again, were their kids poking more holes in the walls? It was torture in many ways.

And even after he left, he still comes by to get the mail--although he doesn't get mail there anymore...its more to snoop and to take more of his things from time to time. If I didn't need him to hold me together, I'd change the locks even though his names on the deed too.

 

Alot of the problem is me. I've lived here 8 years and the number of friends I've made I can count on one hand. Part of it was not wanting to run in the circles he did with exW, but there weren't any other options in his world...And so I just had my friends I made from work--but they all have families and lives. It's impossible to get together as frequently as I'd like. So I've kind of clung to H.

 

I do like living alone in the sense that I can leave stuff wherever I want and sleep uninterrupted. But I don't do good without a partner, I think is my gist--I could never cope with a roommate, but I do *need* a man. I hate saying it but it's true--it's not just about validation its totally about having that physical comfort of a warm hand rubbing my back or arms wrapped around me. I need that kind of closeness more than I need oxygen. I'm literally dying from a lack of human contact. I force H to hug me when he comes over--rub my back, hold me....He seems to be ok with it because it helps stop my panic attack but I dont' know if he resents me now. I can't tell if he's moved on and is just toying with me or if he is also not wanting to end the marriage...its confusing and I dont' trust him. I think he'd lie just to get me out of there so the house could be sold, then he'd dump me without a care in the world--or maybe I'm just paranoid--maybe he really does miss me too. I mean, he's never not helped me when I asked. He always comes if I call and is always good about helping me.

 

My family history consists of women who find replacements before they leave a relationship. I don't do that. I just would move on by myself and eventually re-partner. After getting sicker with my MI, and going IP, I dont have that strength anymore. I need a man to lay in my bed and comfort me and just be close....but I'm so sickly sex is out of the question right now....and I'm not sure any guy wants to be my bf if there's no sex:(

 

Emettman I'm an introvert so being home is supposed to be safe, but being alone isn't :( I don't know how to fix the two...

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I'm really sorry you're in such a rough patch.  All that "not knowing" (whether the relationship is over, when you're going to have to move, etc) sounds exceptionally stressful. 

 

I actually wish we could talk in person, because there are things I think I could say and share that would require a thesis-length post here.  Not that I've found the definitive answers to getting through this (my earlier post may have sounded a little glib), but I've experienced some similar shit and come out the other end intact and might be able to give you some hope.  At risk of sounding outrageously annnoying, I have to say, remember the line that "the only way out is through"... in other words, you will get out of this nightmare, but there are no quick fixes.  Keep asking questions and keep talking about this in therapy - both will help.

 

Be well

Mia

Edited by MiaB
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First, I am sorry that you are struggling, Brokendishes. Nothing that you are going through is even a little bit easy. I really hope that you feel better as soon as possible. Change is a process, fortunately or unfortunately. Sometimes (many times) change is painful, but I know that it will get better, whatever that looks like for you. 

 

I think it is hard to learn to exist *just* for yourself. It doesn't matter whether you're an introvert (I am, despite not appearing like it) or an extrovert or both. Introverts are still social creatures, they still need contact with other people, or at least cats, heh. Humans are social creatures, it's just a fact.** That's why living alone can be so difficult for many people, at least at some point in their lives. If you talk to people who live alone, you will often hear them say things like they need to go outside, they need to have background noise. Being completely and utterly alone can be very hard. It can be terrifying. I don't think it's fair to expect someone to become comfortable with living alone when they are not prepared to do so. 

 

In the same vein, I think that sometimes there is too much emphasis placed on the concept of "Me". Just because someone defines themselves by the work they do for others, that doesn't mean that they have 'lost themselves.' 

 

For example, I have many activities that I engage in just for myself. I absolutely love reading. I also love to sit alone and draw for hours and hours. But for me, those are just the things I do when I'm alone, they aren't who I am. Rather, I live for other people. I love interacting with other people and animals. My life revolves around other people, from taking care of them, to being their friend, to working with them. The theme of my life is to serve others. That doesn't mean that I have low self-worth, or that I can't tolerate being alone. I value my life and my individuality. But *I* am not my main purpose in life. My purpose is to affect other people in a positive way. In return, I feel fulfilled and happy. Therefore, I don't think there is any shame in someone defining themselves as a mother, a partner, a care taker. There's another issue here about gender, but let's leave that for another day, eh? 

 

** I know that some people might take issue with my statement. I'm not meaning that humans are "supposed" to be social in the sense that we "should" know exactly how to navigate social interactions and/or be extroverted. What I mean is that people require contact with living beings, to individual degrees. Of course, we all need huge amounts of social interaction when we begin life as babies and young children. As we develop, some people may learn that they are more solitary, whereas others find that they crave having others around them most of the time. I think that everyone has an individual point at which they need to go be alone for a while. Nothing is wrong with anyone's individual threshold at which they say "Enough!!"  I hope that makes sense. 

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I need a man to lay in my bed and comfort me and just be close....but I'm so sickly sex is out of the question right now....and I'm not sure any guy wants to be my bf if there's no sex:(

 

Emettman I'm an introvert so being home is supposed to be safe, but being alone isn't :( I don't know how to fix the two...

 

Not that I'm a top expert, but we men vary.  Not all of us believe intimacy is just about playing hide the sausage as often as possible.

(with bonus scores for speed and endurance.)

 

Personally I think a decent cuddle or just crashing out together is far more often nearer the mark.

 

Yes, classically introverts rest and recharge on their own (or in the company of  a limited range of select individuals with whom they feel "at home") but it does depend on "home" not being loaded with stressors or negative connotations,

I'm fortunate that my house *is* company: familiar and secure.

Just as well since I've not left it for a couple of years now due to purely physical illness.

(Yes, this makes for a hug shortage for me too.  Live conversation totals about fifteen minutes a week, split between my weekly cleaner, weekly gardener, weekly grocery delivery driver  and the postman!)

 

Otherwise there are several  here I'd be happy to extend a reassuring hug to without demanding or expecting anything else.

How did the  Victorian caricature go?  "For women sex was the price they had to pay for marriage and for men marriage was the price they had to pay for sex".  

I'd hope things were not now that bad but perhaps the communication and motivation gaps can still be that wide.

 

Chris

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Maybe I misread but you're living in a different geographic location from the one that you used to be in, where friends were and where family was? What might happen if you went back to the one that you're from? Would there be anyone who might be willing to reconnect with you and help you get re-established?

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I don't live alone, but i've had bad housemate experiences as a student. I couldn't live alone, my partner annoys the crap out of me, but it's reassuring to know someone else is there. I like to be among few people, i guess you could say i'm introverted, i find people very stressful and need somewhere to go where i can just be on my own with my thoughts, i like to have friends but not ones that i see all the time if that makes sense.

 

Could you roomate with someone you know and trust?

Edited by cady
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